After months of weekly meetings, heaps of paperwork and copious amounts of signatures, the Centre Care nonprofit board is ready to take over Centre Crest.
With one week left until the official transition, some members of the board held a news conference at Mount Nittany Medical Center on Friday to discuss the changes and what’s to come.
After months of uncertainty about the facility’s future and decreases in the number of residents, board President Betsy Boyer said there is an upswing in mood at the facility, and the employees are ready to move forward.
“It’s a really great feeling to walk into the building and see a marked difference in staff attitude and just the morale,” she said.
The board has partnered with management company Complete HealthCare Resources to work through the transition and improve staffing levels at the facility. Centre Crest recently hired a new nursing director, human resources director and other staff members.
It has enough staff for 225 residents and has capped the number there, but it will continue to bring in new hires to open up the full 240-bed facility.
When the facility officially becomes a nonprofit Nov. 1, the Medicaid reimbursement rates also will increase. A main reason why the Centre County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to transition the facility was the low reimbursement rates that were locked for county-operated facilities.
And the home is now out of the political arena, which board member Carl Raup said will be important.
The board also will set an increased focus on marketing and visibility of the board members, said Steve Brown, board member and Mount Nittany Health CEO. The board will schedule community outreach events, which Brown said will be key in getting the Centre Crest name out.
Raup added that just having people come through and give positive reports on the home will be as good as any paid advertisements.
“Marketing is critical, but word of mouth is your best seller,” he said.
Though the board has been busy with paperwork and the details of the transition, the goal of a new Centre Crest facility is in the back of everyone’s mind.
Boyer said that’s still a future goal, but right now, the focus is on making the current building run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Getting everything ready has been a daunting task, Raup said, but he added that the board has learned a lot. CHR has been very helpful, he said, and they will be ready to go when they are handed the keys.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.